13558 Chapters
Medium 9781780490359

Chapter One - Fifty Years of Gestalt Therapy

Delisle, Gilles Karnac Books ePub


Fifty years of Gestalt therapy

After four editions of his book, Maddi (1989) finally includes Gestalt therapy in his comparative analysis of theories of the personality. Even then, he considers it a recent approach and cites only three references to Perls: (1) In and Out of the Garbage Pail (1969), considered by some to be a simple autobiographical essay (Clarckson & Mackewn, 1993; Stoehr, 1994); (2) Gestalt Therapy Verbatim (1969); and (3) Ego, Humor (sic!) and Aggression, which he cites as 1969, although Ego, Hunger and Aggression was published in 1942. One can only conclude that the theory of Gestalt therapy is relatively unknown, if a recognized specialist in the field of theories of the personality fails to cite the fundamental 1951 reference (Gestalt Ttherapy: Excitement and Growth in the Human Personality) and if other important authors (Drapela, 1987; Hall & Lindszey, 1957; Pervin, 1990) completely ignore the approach.

In spite of its limited visibility, Gestalt therapy has made important contributions to clinical thinking and practice (Bergin & Garfield, 1991). The major contribution of Gestalt is the holistic perspective, the idea that the interrelations between objects and persons are such that no situation can be reduced to the simple sum of its parts. Consequently, Gestalt defends the notion, relatively new at that time (Perls, 1942; 1947; Perls, Hefferline & Goodman, 1951) that the real, here-and-now relationship is as important as transference (Clarckson & MacKewn, 1993, p. 87). For Yontef (1993), psychoanalysis, in recent developments, has clearly integrated many elements borrowed from humanistic psychology and Gestalt therapy, including recognition of the importance of the real relationship. Certain ideas developed by Perls and by Perls et al. have certainly been assimilated, whether consciously or unconsciously, by thinkers in the psychodynamic tradition, sometimes even being announced as their own original discoveries (Burgalières, 1992; Miller, 1988, 1991).

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Medium 9781780490618

Chapter Fifteen - Healing through Talk and Touch

Karnac Books ePub


Healing through talk and touch

Chris Cornelius

This is the story of my journey as a patient, a twenty year quest to experience healing from persistent, often debilitating, symptoms of an increasingly common chronic condition. Writing is a large part of my chosen profession, but this is one of the more difficult pieces of writing I have undertaken. I am a mid-career academic social scientist, specializing in matters of health systems and health policy. My story is given shape and colour by this professional background as I am inherently interested in how people get access to, and experience, health services. I still believe that these things are vitally important, but my story also demonstrates the limitations of seeking healing through medical care, and its various interventions and pharmaceutical treatments. I have a very positive experience of integrated MindBody work, and at the end of this Chapter I make a modest attempt to convey what the experience was like for me. However, another reason I want to tell this story is to relate, from a patient perspective, just how difficult it can be to find MindBody work, even though I had been primed for it for nearly twenty years.

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Medium 9781855756021

CHAPTER NINE: Ethics and guilt

Vadolas, Antonios Karnac Books ePub

The dilemma of guilt

The sense of guilt is the most accessible state that marks morality and a distinctive feature of subjectivity. Only the subject of language can experience guilt, as an indivisible and ubiquitous feature of the (moral) law. In this regard, guilt can be a valuable thread for exploring Sade's relation to Kantian ethics and its implication for fascism and perversion.

Conventionally, psychoanalysis regards perversion and psychosis as “guilt-free” structures, counter to the neurotic condition, where guilt constitutes a constant torment. The reason for this is a unitary conception of guilt as the heritage of the resolution of the Oedipus complex, something that the pervert and the psychotic never accomplish. Thus, the way guilt or its supposed absence operate in each structure may have something to say about the desire of the subject in relation to the Other, which is exactly what determines her structure. It is not fortuitous, then, that Lacan links guilt, as the distillation of moral experience, with the ethics of desire. At the epicentre of his theorization, in the late 1950s, we find guilt associated with the end of analysis, as the subject has to “assume his guilt and/or his constitutive [symbolic] debt” (Zupancic, 1999, p. 170). In Seminar VII, Lacan makes a vital remark on guilt and its part in ethics, noting that guilt is found whenever someone has betrayed his desire, that is, s/he stepped back to the safety of the moral law:

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Medium 9781855757769

CHAPTER ONE: The body of the organisation and its health

Morgan-Jones, Richard Karnac Books ePub


The body of the organisation
and its health

The wounded surgeon plies the steel

That questions the distempered part;

Beneath the bleeding hands we feel

The sharp compassion of the healers art

Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.

East Coker from The Four Quartets, T.S. Eliot

I said to my, soul be still, and wait without hope

For hope would be hope of the wrong thing; wait without love

For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith

But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.

Burnt Norton from The Four Quartets, T.S. Eliot

The Collective Body:

The body is the collective subjective and the only means to convey collective human experience perceived in a commonly understood way. Antony Gormley, sculptor, quoted in Antony Gormley, M. Caiger-Smith


In this first chapter I am developing the metaphor of the organisational system as if it were a body. What I want to convey is the nature of engagement with the humanity of the enterprise, its spirit and its endeavour. This means that the chapter will move between different perspectives. I try to develop this metaphor and the role of human systems analyst, via examples from my own professional experience as it has unfolded. Each of these will try to indicate areas where addressing system failure is part of analysis and intervention, requiring the sharp compassion of the healers art (see Eliot quote above).

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Medium 9781782203490

Chapter Nine: Dissociative Identity Disorder and Its Saturation With Shame

Karnac Books ePub

Phil Mollon

It was over twenty years ago when I first knowingly encountered one or two psychotherapy clients with dissociative identity disorder (DID). I had scarcely heard of the concept, and had very little idea what it meant or what might cause such a condition. The nature of DID was forcefully brought to my awareness by the vivid clinical phenomena presented by these several patients, all severely disturbed and with long psychiatric histories. Radical shifts of consciousness and behaviour were interwoven with deeply shocking and disconcerting narratives of severe abuse, torture, murder, and bizarre quasi-religious rituals.

I have not seen large numbers of such patients. Indeed, l learned that I could not personally cope with the confusion and anxiety that they generated. In a clinical practice covering more than forty years, I have worked with a total of nine patients with clear DID, although I have seen somewhat more than this for assessment. On the other hand, I would estimate that I have seen hundreds of patients who show some degree of dissociation deriving from severe childhood trauma.

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